Proton aims to have 36 used car outlets nationwide this year

by TMR / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

PERUSAHAN Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (Proton) targets to expand its used car management (UCM) network to reach 36 3S (sales, service and spare parts) and 4S (3S and shop for body and paint) outlets nationwide in 2020.

This comes as the automotive industry is seeing a new buying pattern amid the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), used car sales jumped by 100% in the first half of this year.

Proton UCM head Brian Cheah said with the company’s sales growing quickly and expecting expansion over the coming years, the role of UCM has become more important as it assists customers who need to dispose of their used vehicles.

“When we started the UCM division in 2019, the goals were to support new car sales and to improve the resale value of Proton cars,” he said in a statement yesterday.

The division’s pilot project consisted of eight outlets located in various dealerships. The initial months were used to establish operating procedures and train used car inspectors who would manage transactions in each outlet.

The target set for UCM is for replacement sales, where a current owner trades in a Proton model for a new one to account for a minimum of 10% of the volume for outlets with UCM operations.

Several programmes have been established to help with the target, such as Proton Xchange, which encourages customers to replace their current cars with the newest Proton models.

In the future, the division will set up a dedicated portal with an online selling platform to attract tech-savvy used car buyers.

“Potential customers will be able to view our stock remotely and they can also browse the website to get estimated valuations for their current cars,” Cheah said. Cars sold by the UCM division will be marketed under the Proton Certified Pre-Owned (PCPO) banner.

Under PCPO, all vehicles undergo a comprehensive 201-point inspection and are guaranteed to have never suffered any flood or major accident structural damage.

PCPO vehicles also come with a one-year extended warranty covering the engine and transmission, and are eligible for a one-time free service up to six months after the registration date.

Though the division is fairly new to the market, outlets participating in the programme are already seeing an impact.

Proton 4S outlet LHM One Stop Car Service Centre has seen positive results since beginning the UCM programme in October 2019, its MD Ryan Lai said.

“It has helped our sales advisors close deals as we can now offer competitive trade-in value for used Proton cars,” he said.

Another Proton 4S outlet, Atiara Johan, which was chosen as the first authorised UCM outlet in June 2019, has seen a sales boost through special incentives offered to customers who are current Proton owners.

“To date, we have recorded over 130 trade-in transactions with our customers expressing satisfaction for what they see as a value-added service that allows them to easily purchase a new Proton,” its MD Judith Yam said.